17 October 2004 | lazarillo
An odd bird
This is a rather odd movie, appearing after the JD/reform school movies of the late 50's and early 60's, but before the sleazy WIP films of the 1970's. It's also British, so all bets are off. The British are famous for being the most repressed and prudish of the European countries, but they also might be the most perverted. This film is fairly tame. It is less enjoyably trashy than similar films like "Baby Love" with Linda Hayden, the early Pete Walker effort "School for Sex", or the more violent "In the Devil's Garden", and it is definitely much less sleazy than Italian co-productions like "What Have You Done to Solange?" Still the film does contain flashes of full-frontal nudity and a completely gratuitous scene where the heroine (who looks to be about twenty five)dresses up in her school girl uniform even though she's not going to school (one for the perverts, I guess).
The protagonist is mentally unbalanced due to the bizarre merry-go-round related death of her father and she has some strange fear and fascination with horses. She's sent to the reformatory/mental institution because she stabs her mother's loutish boyfriend after he tries to rape her. This seems like a perfectly normal reaction to me, but the school psychiatrist insists on delving into her troubled psyche to get at the root of her neurosis, thus there's a lot of Freudian psychobabble (the filmmakers had obviously seen "Marnie" a few too many times). The other girls at the institution seem somewhat less than troubled as well. It's intimated that one was a prostitute, one simply won't take a shower, and couple others are lesbians. There's a few fights, some tame sapphic foreplay,and a lot gratuitous dancing in towels and teddies, but anybody expecting a sleazy WIP film is going to be bitterly disappointed. The only recognizable star is Lesley-Ann Down but she's not prominently featured and doesn't participate in any of the lesbian or nude scenes as she really was a teenager at the time. I recommend this film, but more as a curiosity than for any sordid subject matter it may contain.